Oware co-founders Raza Kazmi and Adil Nisar. Image Credits: Oware
Managing goods as they make their way through multiple warehouses and logistics providers is one of the biggest headaches that businesses in the supply chain face. After leaving his job at Careem, Adil Nisar founded a company that sources, manufacturers and distributes lights in Pakistan and experienced those challenges firsthand. So he teamed up with Raza Kazmi, the former group CFO of one of Pakistan’s largest distribution houses, to found Oware, a network of connected warehouses that let businesses track and manage their shipments from a single portal.
Today the company announced it has raised $3.3 million pre-seed funding from investors including Flexport Fund, Ratio Ventures, Seedstars International Ventures, Sketchnote Partners, The Osiris Group, Swiss Founders Fund, Reflect Ventures, +92 Ventures and Walled City Co.
Nisar told TechCrunch that while starting novo, his biggest challenge as a small business owner was finding a reliable fulfillment partner and managing upfront capital costs related to warehousing.
The Oware Eye Customer Portal. Image Credits: Oware
Oware is meant to provide businesses with an affordable and scalable solution to traditional warehouse networks, while ensuring timely deliveries to end customers. Most of its customers are B2B market and retail companies that are looking for backend warehousing and transportation to their last distribution point or dark store.
Oware currently has 18 warehouses in five cities in Pakistan, with a total space of 500,000 square feet. Part of Oware’s funding will be used to increase its coverage, which the company says can already provide same-day delivery to 75% of the population and next-day delivery to 85%.
The company rents its warehouse space and works with third-party logistics providers. Oware’s clients can quickly start their operations from any of its locations, picking the ones that are closest to their end customers. Oware’s partners handles almost everything they need for deliveries, including picking, packing and shipping. Its online portal manage product inventory at their warehouses and track shipments in real time with digital proof of delivery.
In a prepared statement, Seedstars partner and CIO Charlie Graham-Brown said, “Pakistan has a massive opportunity in logistics presented by the 2 million SMEs and the rise of e-commerce in the region. We believe that Oware has a solid position to be an integral layer to an ecosystem that's becoming digitally enabled. We are proud to have been Adil's and Raza's early backers and thrilled for the journey ahead.”